Essential Oils for Depression: A Guide for Beginners

Depression is a common mental health issue that affects millions of people. It can make you feel sad, hopeless, helpless, and alone. Not only does depression negatively affect your mood, but it can also impact your productivity and relationships with loved ones.


According to the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH), depression is a serious medical condition that can be treated but not cured. As such, it's important to seek professional help if you think you're suffering from depression. However, there are many natural remedies that may also help treat depression symptoms.



How to use essential oils for depression
Depression can leave you feeling sad, hopeless and alone

Choosing the right essential oil?

Essential oils are one such natural remedy that may help manage depression symptoms because they have anti-inflammatory properties that promote relaxation and calmness in the body. However, selecting the right essential oil can be overwhelming. - there are so many types of essential oils out there, and it can be hard to know which ones work best for depression.


The following essential oils have been shown to help with depression:


Bergamot Essential Oil

Bergamot essential oil has a unique scent that can be described as citrusy, warm, and slightly bitter. It's derived from the peel of a small, bitter orange tree. Bergamot essential oil is extracted through the cold expression of the peel, which means that it's not heated during production. This means that bergamot oil retains most of its natural properties.


Bergamot essential oil can be applied topically and diffused to help with depression symptoms. Here are some of the benefits of bergamot essential oil:


It helps reduce anxiety and stress.

Bergamot essential oil contains high levels of limonene and linalool, two volatile compounds that have sedative effects on the central nervous system (CNS). These compounds promote relaxation by slowing down nerve impulses in the brain and reducing feelings of anxiousness or stress.


It helps balance moods.

Bergamot essential oil has analgesic properties that can help relieve pain caused by inflammation or injury in the body. This makes it useful for calming aches and pains associated with depression or chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS). It also has antidepressant effects due to its ability to stimulate dopamine production in the brain, which can improve the mood and reduce cravings for food or alcohol.


Patchouli Essential Oil

Patchouli is a sweet-smelling oil that has been used for centuries as an aid to meditation and relaxation. It's also been used to help with depression and anxiety. The oil comes from the leaves of a shrub-like plant that grows in tropical regions of India, China, and Australia.


Patchouli oil contains organic compounds called sesquiterpenes, which are known to have powerful anti-inflammatory properties. These sesquiterpenes can help reduce stress by blocking the production of a stress hormone called cortisol. This decrease in cortisol levels helps your body stay calm so you can relax and enjoy life more fully.


Frankincense Essential Oil

Frankincense essential oil is one of the most popular essential oils out there. It's used in many blends because of its sweet and woody scent.


People often use frankincense essential oil to help with depression, anxiety, and stress. Frankincense essential oil can also help improve sleep and reduce joint pain.


Frankincense essential oil has been used for thousands of years as a medicinal plant by ancient civilizations like the Egyptians and Greeks. It's been used to treat muscle spasms, respiratory issues, and inflammation.


The benefits of frankincense essential oil include:

  • It helps improve mood and lift spirits.

  • It helps relieve stress, anxiety, and depression.

  • Improves immune system function.

  • Improves quality of sleep.

using frankincense essential oil to reduce the symptoms of depressions
Frankincense Essential Oil Helps Reduce Depression

Ylang Ylang Essential Oil

The flowers of the Cananga tree are used to make ylang ylang essential oil. The tree is native to Indonesia, although it is also planted in India, Madagascar, Sri Lanka, and Australia, among other tropical countries. When the blossoms are still unopened, they are harvested and distilled into a sweet-smelling essential oil.


How Does Ylang Ylang Essential Oil Help With Depression?

The scent of ylang-ylang is believed to have a calming effect on the mind and body. It has been used for centuries by aromatherapists as a remedy for stress and anxiety symptoms. When used in aromatherapy massage therapy, it can help relieve depression symptoms by relaxing tense muscles and stimulating the release of feel-good hormones like serotonin and dopamine.


Peppermint Essential Oil

Peppermint essential oil is one of the most commonly used essential oils for depression. It's a fresh, invigorating scent that can help you feel more awake and alert.


Peppermint essential oil contains menthol, which is thought to be the active ingredient responsible for its therapeutic effects. Menthol temporarily alters how our brain responds to stimuli by activating receptors in our nervous system that make us feel more alert and awake. This can help relieve symptoms of depression such as fatigue and lethargy while improving concentration and memory recall.


Peppermint essential oil also contains rosmarinic acid, which acts as an antioxidant to fight free radicals and reduce inflammation at the cellular level. Free radicals are unstable molecules that damage healthy cells in the body leading to oxidative stress on the brain, which has been linked to mental illnesses like depression.


Rosemary Essential Oil

Rosemary essential oil is one of the most popular essential oils in the world. It's extracted from the leaves of rosemary plants and has many health benefits. It is often used topically to treat ailments like headaches, muscular pain, and fatigue. But did you know that it also has antidepressant properties?


Here are some of the ways that rosemary essential oil can help with depression:

  • It increases serotonin levels in the brain. Serotonin is a neurotransmitter that helps regulate our moods and emotions. Low serotonin levels have been linked to depression, anxiety, and other mental illnesses.

  • It reduces stress hormones like cortisol and adrenaline. Secretion of these stress hormones can lead to anxiety or irritability — both of which can exacerbate feelings of depression.

  • It improves circulation and blood flow. Rosemary stimulates circulation by dilating blood vessels, which helps deliver oxygen-rich blood throughout your body. This improved circulation encourages healing at a cellular level and gives you more energy throughout your day!

Eucalyptus Essential Oil

Eucalyptus essential oil is a great oil for a diffuser as it helps clear the mind and relieve stress. When we breathe in eucalyptus essential oil, it enters our lungs and is absorbed into our bloodstream. The oil then travels to the brain and nervous system, where it can help us feel more relaxed.


Eucalyptus oil contains two of the most powerful compounds known to fight depression: pinene and cineole. These compounds have been studied extensively and shown to improve mood and reduce feelings of sadness or depression.


People who are depressed often suffer from feelings of hopelessness, fatigue, irritability, low self-esteem, difficulty concentrating, and memory problems. Eucalyptus essential oil can help with these symptoms and relieve muscle tension, another common symptom of depression.


It can be used topically on sore muscles or joints to relieve muscle pain caused by arthritis or other conditions that cause joint pain, such as fibromyalgia. It also works well for relieving headaches when applied topically on the temples or forehead area over the sinuses.


Essential oils for happiness
Take control of your life with Essential Oils

Summary

Essential oils can be used in DIY recipes to help boost your mood and overall well-being, so that you can find some relief and calm when the going gets rough. After all, since most essential oils are natural and free of chemicals, there's no reason for you not to give them a try.


References

  • https://www.researchgate.net/publication/316054298_Bergamot_Essential_Oil_Attenuates_Anxiety-Like_Behaviour_in_Rats

  • https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7491497/

  • https://www.healthline.com/health/depression/essential-oils-for-depression



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